Hezbollah supporters bike along Israeli border in protest of IDF

If Israel "wants to start a war, we're ready," says Hezbollah's deputy leader Naim Qassem.

February 4, 2019 09:50
2 minute read.
Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah carry pictures of Hezbollah's late

Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah carry pictures of Hezbollah's late military leader Imad Moughniyah as Nasrallah appears on a screen to speak at an event to commemorate the deaths of six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general killed by an Israeli air strike in Syri. (photo credit: REUTERS/KHALIL HASSAN)

Dozens of Hezbollah supporters rode motorbikes used in military operations along Lebanon’s border with Israel to protest against the IDF, Lebanese media reported.

According to Lebanon’s The Daily Star, the group of 60 men rode from the town of Bint Jbeil across from the Israeli community of Yiron on “cross motorbikes, which the party has used before for military resistance operations.”

“We’re ready if you ask,” one of the riders was quoted by The Daily Star as saying, adding that, “If you want us on cross [motorbikes], then we are at your service.”

The man stated that the slogan for the ride was “to Jerusalem on millions of cross bikes,” aiming to show loyalty to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

The Shi’ite terrorist organization last fought a war – the Second Lebanon War – against Israel in 2006, and since then has morphed from a guerrilla group into an army with a set hierarchy and procedures.

With the help of Iran, Hezbollah has rebuilt its arsenal since 2006 and now has hundreds of thousands of short-range rockets and several thousand more missiles that can reach deeper into Israel. It is believed that in the next war, the terrorist group intends to fire some 1,500-2,000 rockets per day.

In addition to their massive arsenal, Hezbollah also has the ability to mobilize close to 30,000 battle-hardened fighters, some of whom were expected to try to infiltrate into Israeli border communities to kill or kidnap civilians and soldiers.

Israel launched Operation Northern Shield in early December to discover and destroy tunnels dug by the Lebanese Shi’ite terror group into northern Israel. The IDF announced the end of the operation in mid-January after finding and destroying six cross-border attack tunnels, including one stretching hundreds of meters from the southern Lebanese village of Ramiya and infiltrated several dozen meters into northern Israel.

While the military announced the end of the operation, it noted that it “is simultaneously monitoring several locations where Hezbollah is digging underground structures which have yet to cross into Israel.”

It will also continue a “broad defense effort” along the Lebanese border to ensure that Hezbollah does not try to dig future tunnels into Israel by integrating various means such as the ongoing construction of the border wall with Lebanon.

Also on Sunday, dozens of United Nations ambassadors toured one of the tunnel sites outside the community of Metulla with Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon. The ambassadors were able to see inside the tunnel by a robotic camera operated by IDF engineering troops.

“It is important to convey this powerful message: just as we prevented the terror tunnels from reaching Israel, we will thwart any aggression from Lebanon, Syria or Iran itself,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told them. “We are committed to preventing this aggression and thus we are protecting not only Israel but also our neighbors and the peace of the entire world.”

Meanwhile, Nasrallah’s deputy Naim Qassem said that while he did not think Israel was interested in war with Lebanon, the group was ready if one were to break out.

“I don’t think Israel can go into a conflict with Lebanon because the conditions are complicated, and Israel is not interested in war,” Qassem told Lebanese TV, adding nonetheless that “if it wants to start a war, we’re ready.”

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